Wednesday, May 23, 2012

An Evening Of Mystery At Ben McNally Books

The fabulous Ben McNally Books downtown Toronto, along with ECW Press, hosted a fun evening with some of Canada's coolest crime writers.
John McFetridge entertained everyone reading an excerpt from his latest book, Tumblin' Dice.

John's a great guy and a fantastic writer. Check out the review I did recently for Tumblin' Dice over at Spinetingler.

John McFetridge has written a number of crime novels all based in Toronto: Dirty Sweet, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Swap and now Tumblin' Dice, which was just released in March. His writing style has been compared to Elmore Leonard and he indeed writes some dark and gritty stuff with lots of swearing. Love that. You can never have too much foul language in a crime book. You've got to be able to offend your grandma if you want to do it right.

David Whellams, author of Walking into the Ocean, also read to us.

David is an Ottawa based writer and has a background in criminal law. His book, Walking into the Ocean is a mystery novel set in Britain and features Veteran Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Peter Cammon who, while investigating the murder of a woman, discovers and even

bigger mystery involving a number of deaths that might be the work of a serial killer. Sounds like fun to me. Who doesn't love serial killers?

Toronto author Brent Pilkey read an interesting excerpt from his book; a humorous little part that went into detailed descriptions of cop's underwear. I'll never be able to look at them without thinking about what might be in their pants, I mean under their pants. Under wear? Their pants. Yes, that's it. I got cop's briefs on my brain now.

Brent is a Toronto cop himself so when he talks about cops (and their boxers) he knows what he's saying. Savage Rage is Brent's second book set in Toronto, featuring the character of officer Jack Warren. You can read my review of Savage Rage over at Goodreads. It's a pretty cool book, as is Brent's first one, Lethal Rage.

Another Toronto writer, Dorothy McIntosh, author of The Witch of Babylon was at tonight's event, showing her support. Dorothy chatted me up about the new book in her trilogy coming out soon and it sounds fantastic. I've got a review of The Witch of Babylon on my blog. It's a page turner.

Ben McNally's is a great little book store on Bay Street, with a really elegant atmosphere. Check it out if you're in the Toronto area. And be sure to visit ECW Press for a list of all the books of tonight's featured authors.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Tattoo And A Review, Featuring Drunk On The Moon

Werewolves are always getting a bad rap. In movies and in stories the werewolf is typically portrayed as a vicious creature to be feared and loathed. But according to Eric, who came into Malefic Tattoos today to continue the work on his reverse tribal full leg piece, werewolves are just misunderstood.

"As long as they only kill the bad guy, it's fine," says Eric as he paused from reading Paul D. Brazill's Drunk On The Moon, werewolf PI anthology.

Eric said he liked how Drunk On The Moon has an interesting twist on the stereotypical werewolf.

Indeed it does. The werewolf in Drunk On The Moon is Roman Dalton, a hard drinking, dark and brooding Private Investigator who, when the moon is full, changes into a werewolf. That's when things get really interesting as he does battle with zombies and other unsavoury monsters. What? Yes, you read that right, that's what I said. Zombies. Nasty things they are, the undead.

There is no cure for the lycanthropy surging inside the pages of this book. There is no amount of wolfbane potent enough, no exorcism strong enough, no silver bullets pure enough to stop this shape shifting, whiskey loving Canis Lupus creature of the night. And that's a good thing, because it's a damn good collection of noir-meets-horror stories written by some fine writers.

Some of my favourite stories in this collection are Katherine Tomlinson's "A Fire in the Blood" where Roman goes to see a necromancer after having nightmares and learns that a particularly nasty Persian fire demon is after him. "Blood and Alcohol" by horror writer Frank Duffy is another that stands out for me. It's no secret I'm a big fan of Duffy. His novella Mountains of Smoke is simply brilliant. I also enjoyed Richard Godwin's "Getting High on Daisy". Godwin has this interesting dark and provocative style that boarders on erotica.

Jason Michel's "Back to Nature" story is also pretty cool. As are all the others by such excellent authors Allan Leverone, K.A Laity, B.R. Stateham, John Donald Carlucci, Paul D. Brazill, and myself.

While Eric might not have lycan in his blood, he's certainly got ink. Ink transforming him from just another average white guy into a fascinating human canvas. I don't think he's ever howled at the moon after one too man whiskeys down at Duffy's bar as Roman has, but Eric did mention something to me about moon dust (whatever that is) so I think he might have more in common with our werewolf PI than he's letting on. Eric isn't afraid of any big bad wolf either because... well, I think he is one.

Check out Eric's review of Heath Lowrance's Dig Ten Graves.

Eric also reviews Julie Morrigan's Show No Mercy

Drunk On The Moon, get it on Amazon and Amazon UK. Available in ebook and hard copy.

Paul D. Brazill blogs over at, You Would Say That Wouldn't You?